Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested two Chinese citizens and three Vietnamese who ran an illegal ring operating loan shark apps with more than 60,000 debtors and interest rates of up to 1,095 percent per year.
Officers under the municipal Department of Police on Monday apprehended and initiated legal proceedings against Tu Long, 28, Yuan Deng Hui, 27, Lam Cam Quyen, 30, Lai The Hung, 29, and Che Ngoc Trinh, 25.
Tu Long and Yuan Deng Hui are Chinese nationals while the other three are Vietnamese citizens.
They are charged with “usury in civil transactions,” a crime that carries up to three years of imprisonment.
They allegedly played leading roles in a large-scale illicit loan shark ring.
Officers first discovered three companies headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City operating mobile apps providing fast loans, namely ‘Vaytocdo,’ ‘Moreloan,’ and ‘VD online.’
These companies were owned by two Chinese women, but some Ho Chi Minh City residents were hired to be the firms’ legal representatives.
In late 2019, police inspected the companies and questioned about 40 of its employees, most of whom are Vietnamese.
They said they were assigned tasks such as managing, translating, reviewing debtors’ applications, and collecting debts.
‘Vaytocdo’ stated that first-time users could take out a loan of up to VND1.7 million (US$72), VND300,000 ($12) of which was actually service charge.